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Bike Back to School

low-res Back to school-9454

It’s that time of year again: Kids, teachers, teenagers, and college students alike are all heading back to the classroom for another year of learning. Will you or your child be riding a bike to school this fall? Here are a few things to get everyone ready to roll!

ABC Quick Check

A. Air / Wheels:
Is the air pressure in the tires correct? Are the tires in good shape?
Do the wheels spin freely on the hub? Are all the spokes tight?

B. Brakes:
Do the brakes make the wheels skid?
Are the pads in good shape?
Spin both wheels; do the brake pads rub?

C. Chain / Crank / Pedal:
Is the chain straight?
Is the chain clean and lightly oiled? Is the chain free of rust?
Is the crank tight and secure?
Are the pedals tight and secure?

D. Drop:
Raise the bike about two inches and drop it. Does it make noise? Something may be loose.

Quick / Check:
Quick: If the bike is equipped with quick release fittings, are they properly adjusted?
Check: Ride around slowly. Does the bike appear to operate properly?


Make sure everyone in your family has a properly fitted helmet. Check out our Helmet Sizing and Adjustment guide for step-by-step directions. Need to get your kids motivated to wear a helmet? Show them the BikeTexas CATS Safety Bling! video.

Order BikeTexas Educational Materials for your classroom, afterschool program, or other youth event!

Does your bike need a tuneup? Check out the BikeTexas bike shop members in your area.

If your kids love riding their bikes and need an extra challenge this fall, join us at a Kids Kup event.

 

BWORTH Request for Proposals: Children’s Bike/Walk Safety Education Project

NOTE: The proposal due date has been changed to 11:59pm CDT on Tuesday, September 4, 2012, to account for the Labor Day holiday. 

BikeTexas Education Fund (BikeTexas) is requesting proposals for the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Bike/Walk Our Rich Texas History (BWORTH) program to support the goals and strategies of the Texas Department of Transportation Statewide Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities involving Texas children bicycling and walking to and from schools and other venues. The BWORTH program seeks to contract development of an on-line digital tool for bicycling and walking safety education and physical activity encouragement for implementation in Texas elementary schools.

The full request for proposal (RFP) for the BWORTH tool may be viewed and/or downloaded on the web at www.biketexas.org/bworth. The RFP includes an outline of the goals, objectives, performance measures, and scoring criteria for proposals to develop the BWORTH digital tool.

All questions regarding submittal of proposals for the BWORTH digital tool must be submitted by sending an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5:00 p.m. CDT, August 23, 2012. A list of the questions, with answers (Q&A document) will be posted on the BikeTexas website by 5:00 p.m. CDT, August 27, 2012.

Proposals may be submitted electronically to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mailed to BikeTexas, BWORTH August 2012 RFP, P.O. Box 1121, Austin, Texas 78767. Proposals for the BWORTH digital tool are due to BikeTexas no later than 5:00 p.m. CDT, September 4, 2012.

   

BikeTexas Conducts SafeCyclist Certification in Ysleta ISD

SafeCyclist Training

Carrie Beth Quiocho, or “Coach Q,” is a champion for youth cycling in her community. A Kinesiology Teacher and Coach at Riverside Middle School in Ysleta ISD, Coach Q contacted BikeTexas about our SafeCyclist Certification. BikeTexas staff teaches elementary school teachers (along with other community members who interact with children) the BikeTexas SafeCyclist curriculum that is designed for fourth and fifth grade students. With just a few weeks’ notice, Coach Q brought together 29 community partners for the June 26 training, including YISD PE teachers, coaches, YMCA staff, bicycle shop owners and advocates, and School Health Advisory Committee members.

BikeTexas provided the training and materials, which include the SafeCyclist Curriculum and Certification, Safe Routes to School Event Handbook, and a “From A-Z by Bike” booklet. BikeTexas also brought bikes along, so that participants could try out all the lessons for themselves. The group played the Bicycle Parts Relay, which is a race to pin name cards on the corresponding parts of a bicycle. They also learned bike and pedestrian laws actively with a circle running game (SafeCyclist Turnover) and a rousing game of charades. Trainees also ride the Decisions Making Course, which allows students to practice making cycling decisions in complex situations.

At the end of the training, several different groups spoke about the contribution they could make toward spreading the bicycle safety message. They all agreed to share emails and work together to encourage bicycling and guide the community to ride safely.

Before they left for the day, we asked participants which part of the training was their favorite. Some of the answers were:
“The hands-on activity. Handouts in Spanish and English are a huge plus.”
“The hands on experience of bike riding and games for kids to learn bike riding safety rules. Everything was great. I wish there was more time to ride outside.”
“Learning the parts of the bike game (Bicycle Parts Relay) and the Decision Course.”
“The activities!”

   

Record Year for Educational Materials

A-to-Z-Collage

BikeTexas’ Public Information and Education Program (PI&E), which encourages schoolchildren to walk or bike to school, has finished a record-setting school year. The program is part of the educational arm of Safe Routes to School (SRTS) and distributes educational materials about cycling and walking to schools, community groups, and events that target children from pre-K to sixth grade. The program usually distributes 15,000 to 35,000 materials per month.

During the 2011-2012 school year, the program had two banner months: In October, we distributed 84,534 pieces, and in May, we distributed 81,998, both more than double the amount we send in a normal busy month. Kids all over Texas have taken home reminders of what to do when walking or cycling to school, the playground, or a friend's house.

Since the program began in September 2010, we have reached 250,000 students per year and distributed 645,885 printed materials (including coloring books, bookmarks, and handbooks) to children across Texas. We are also planning to distribute 80,000 light sets to children statewide in the next school year. Additionally, we’ve formed 300 new partnerships with schools and community groups across Texas since the PI&E program began. The entire PI&E program is made possible by a SRTS grant from TxDOT.

To order PI&E materials for your school or event, please visit this page and fill out the form. For more information, please contact Safe Routes to School Program Manager Fernando Martinez at 512-476-7433 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

More information about distributing lights will be available on the Be Safe Be Bright page as soon as the lights have arrived.

   

Texas Moves Up in Bicycle Friendly Rankings

Texas schoolchildren learn bicycle safety.The League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Report Card for Texas marks the Lone Star State as #27 in the nation for bicycle-friendliness, a five-place improvement over a #32 ranking last year.

The May 2012 Report Card gives Texas plenty of room for improvement in safety, infrastructure, and planning for cyclists and pedestrians. However, the report card does have bright spots, including a score of four out of five in the Education and Encouragement and Policies and Programs categories. BikeTexas is happy to report that we've been a big part of this improvement.

BikeTexas SafeCyclist program managers have trained 4000 Texas teachers and 3500 future teachers in the SafeCyclist program, so that schools across Texas are equipped to teach fourth- and fifth-grade students how to ride their bikes safely and correctly. Every year, over 200,000 Texas schoolchildren learn bicycle safety through SafeCyclist, a program that’s been in place for over 10 years. This curriculum produces better cyclists, plus these young riders ultimately go on to be better drivers. BikeTexas also promotes cycling education and awareness for adults.

Additionally, BikeTexas’ Kids Kup series, with approximately 15 non-competitive races per year, encourages children to be active and to be comfortable on their bicycles from an early age. The races encourage fun and good sportsmanship, and also include a safety clinic for riders.

Through BikeTexas’ (and many other groups and individuals) advocacy efforts, many cities in Texas now have very good bike plans and policies in place, which include bicycle accommodation (Complete Streets), requiring provisions for cyclists to be included on any new street construction. Eleven Texas cities have Safe Passing ordinances to protect cyclists, pedestrians, and other non-driving road users. More schoolchildren across Texas can walk or ride to school safely, thanks to the BikeTexas Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program and many local SRTS programs across Texas that are also funded by TxDOT.

BikeTexas, city and state governments, parks and public works departments, allied advocacy groups across the state, and Texas cyclists can continue to work together to make Texas more bicycle-friendly and earn us even higher rankings in the future.

   

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